Meet #MadeByYogis Founder Lucy Edge
Lucy Edge opens up about her journey from adland burnout to Yoga School Dropout, and why championing yoga’s creative talent is her next big move.
by LUCY EDGE
I was a burnt out corporate, working eighty hour weeks in advertising. I tried shopping, Pinot Grigio and my Mum, but in the end nothing in my life was working, so I decided to straighten myself with six months in the yoga schools of India.
It was there I learnt the three skills that were to help me change my life:
Switching off the endless cycle of negative thinking.
Waking up to my creativity.
Finding the courage and resilience to make my ideas happen.
Out of this stillness the creativity flowed.
I came home with a suitcase full of diaries and the knowledge that my happiness lay in writing. A year later Random House published Yoga School Dropout.
Suddenly I was getting emails from all over the world. As I shared my story readers shared theirs – how yoga was also helping them get healthy, happy and creative. How they were leaving old lives behind to become designers of clothes, malas, mats … The list went on and on.
I decided to make a home for all this inspiring talent – bringing together a curated collection of beautiful things under one ‘Made By Yogis’ roof.
And the best bit is that no one knows better than a yogi what another yogi needs. Whether we’re talking mats, malas or leggings, yogi designers are mindful of everything important. Of course we all want to look great (we yogis are only human!) but for yogis it’s also about the way things feel, fit and flow, and their impact on our beautiful planet.
Meet Your Makers
One of the greatest pleasures of setting up this site has been meeting the amazing women inspired by yoga to create malas, mats and yogawear.
Natalia Zawada, Starseeds
When Natalia Zawada relocated from her native Warsaw to London she thought she’d landed her dream job. Instead she spent days and nights working for a fashion house without any personal life. Eventually her body and mind said ‘no’. She quit her job and turned to Jivamukti, falling in love with the meditation and breathing practice that helped her relax and let go of the unnecessary. As she puts it, ‘yoga is the best time-stopper, after kissing.’ The rave parties, bars and restaurants of her youth soon became a distant memory, replaced by what she calls a ‘beautiful addiction’ – regular yoga classes, and day retreats with friends.
Inspired to study Fashion Ethics at the London College of Fashion by a trip to Asia where she saw first hand the impact of Western consumerism, she continued her yoga practice. One day, in Savasana, her thoughts (bad lady!) circled around the idea of creating a line of sustainable t-shirts for yoga. Starseeds was born; a way of giving back to the practice that was helping her get herself back together.
Annakatja Hoogesteger, AnnakaTaika
Finnish born Annakatja is a single mother of three and a trainee yoga teacher. Four years ago, needing a tool for meditation, she made herself a mala. She soon realised that wearing nature’s gemstones felt different to other jewelry. She wanted to give that experience to others – to create something meaningful, and beautiful, to feed the soul.
In mala making Annakatja combines her love of yoga, nature and creation. Designing peacefully at home, when the children are at school, and a little less peacefully when they are not, Annakatja creates her malas as tools for meditation, and to remind us of our intentions through the day.
Drawn to nature’s gemstones and crystals, their ancient qualities firing her soul, she especially loves the divine, calming smell of Sandalwood.
Marlene Smits, Urban Goddess
Yoga teacher Marlene Smits’ yoga journey started when she was seventeen, by accident; a rebirthing session which bought her to state of meditation. Her yoga journey continued with Hatha yoga, which progressed to Shiva Rea’s Vinyasa yoga and on to Kundalini and Paul Grilley’s Yin yoga. She now teaches Hatha flow, Yin and Kundalini, which she loves for its precision and practicality and its strong meditative aspect.
Encouraging her students to rid themselves of unwanted baggage and live more joyfully, she decided to follow her own advice and jacked in her job as Editor in Chief at Elle to design her own yoga wear brand. The result is Urban Goddess – the self-styled rock chick of yoga wear. Marlene says, ‘Urban Goddess is created from a place of knowing what a yogi needs – to be multifunctional, fashionable, fair, affordable, and most of all, worry free fit, so you can focus on your practice instead of on your clothes.’
Rachel Sundström, Malatopia
A South African now living in Zurich, Rachel Sundström is both a yoga teacher and a jewellery designer. She says the two work well together – yoga giving her the clarity of mind and focus to transfer her creativity into her designs.
Rachel loves helping people on their spiritual path. ‘My malas are essentially a tool for meditation but can be worn off the mat, as a way of expressing our devotion to the practice, or as a reminder of our spiritual path and personal intentions.’
Designing from her dining table, Rachel is particularly drawn to Amazonite as it reminds her of growing up near the ocean. She also enjoys working with iridescent semi-precious stones like Sunstone, Moonstone and Labradorite, loving the way they change colour in the light.
Click here to read “Meet Your Makers” – the story behind the yogis creating and designing the beautiful things on YogaClicks.Store.